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70 China Clay Jobs Could Go

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12:32pm 22nd January 2014
(Updated 12:32pm 22nd January 2014)

Pirate FM has learnt seventy jobs are to go at Cornish china clay company Imerys.

The company is hoping some can be voluntary - but is not ruling out compulsory redundancies.

Bosses say they have to secure a long term future after a merger with another company providing Kaolin, a soft white clay used in everything from china to paper to paint.

Three more posts are being moved from the Duchy to Devon.

In a statement Imerys said: "The completion of the legal merger of the Kaolin operations of Imerys and Goonvean on the 1st January 2014 has enabled us to develop our proposals for an integrated Kaolin Platform which will make the most efficient use of the combined assets. Our aim is to serve the future needs of our customers and help to secure the long term sustainable future of the China Clay industry in Mid-Cornwall. We expect that these proposals will result in a reduction of around 64 employees.

"The Refractory Minerals operation at Parkandillick, near St. Dennis, is proposing some operational and organisational changes which would result in the loss of 6 jobs.

"The Minerals for Ceramics Division restructure proposes the relocation of its remaining laboratory/technical resources from Par Moor Centre to its facility in Heathfield, Devon. This will result in the transfer of 3 positions from Par Moor Centre to Heathfield.

"Imerys very much regrets that it is necessary to take these actions and recognises that this is a difficult time for all its employees. Every effort will be made to achieve the proposed reductions through voluntary redundancy but compulsory redundancies may also be necessary. Outplacement support will be available to those affected as well as access to the Company's Employee Assistance Programme, which is available to all employees. The Company will also explore all job opportunities that may be available across the Imerys Group, both in the UK and overseas.

"The Company will now commence consultation with the Trade Unions and an individual consultation process with employees in the affected areas will also commence as soon as possible."

St Austell MP Stephen Gilbert told Pirate FM: "Any loss of jobs will be deeply disappointing for the individuals concerned and of course their family and friends. Nobody wants to be without work, particularly at a time when we are having some economic difficulties across the country."

Laura Sheppard, Regional Officer for Unite the union said: "It is another massive blow for Cornwall especially for St Austell and the surrounding area.  Employees are currently in shock, the Union will obviously be doing  everything possible for our members."

If you are worried about losing your job there are three things you can do straight away:

Three Things to do:

  • Check your contract Redundancy details may be in your contract or your employer may have a procedure. Generally redundancy schemes are more generous than those required by law.If you have at least two years' continuous service then you will be entitled to redundancy pay. This will be calculated using your age, years of service and average pay. Redundancy pay is not available if you are over sixty-five or the normal retirement age. It is best to double check with the Citizens Advice Bureau or similar before accepting any terms being offered.
  • Start Networking If you have worked for the company for two years continuously you will be allowed to have reasonable time off to look for another job or for training. But exactly how much time will have to be worked out with your employer. If they feel you are abusing this they can stop paying you. Start speaking to friends and family about opportunities that they hear about.
  • Brush up your CV and references Start work on overhauling your CV and references now. Make sure it includes everything you did at your latest position. If you are being laid off with immediate effect ask your boss to write you your reference then and there. Do not allow yourself to be fobbed off with a promise that it will be sent on. If they write it for you on your last day you are more likely to win sympathy and get a glowing report.
12:32pm 22nd January 2014

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